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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Pastoral Reflections

At the beginning of a new year, many of us make resolutions, committing ourselves to changes that will make us a better person. Our spiritual life might also benefit from changes. The first two Sundays of Ordinary Time focus on the call of the Lord, an ideal starting point for a recommitment to discipleship.

Who is the servant in the First Reading? Is it Isaiah himself, or the whole of the people? In any case, the servant is the one or ones who will make God known to the ends of the earth. Chosen by God, the servant’s mission is to be a light to the nations.

The psalm refrain could serve as our first words in prayer every day. If we take seriously our identity as the servant of the Lord, what better posture of readiness could we adopt?

Paul begins his first letter to the Corinthians by announcing that he is an Apostle of the Lord. We know from Paul’s writings that he did not meet Jesus, yet he says that his ministry is in Jesus’ name. Like the servant in Isaiah, who was formed “from the womb,” Paul believes that his mission predates his life. It was God’s plan that he be a servant of the Lord.

Unlike the synoptic Gospel accounts, John does not describe the baptism of Jesus, but recounts what John the Baptist reports about it. The key insight is that John sees his ministry as connected to that of Jesus. John’s baptism anticipates the baptism Jesus will confer, and John’s instruction was clearly from the same source that brings Jesus to ministry. Like John, we are connected by the same Spirit to Jesus; thus we are commissioned to do the same work.

At Home With the Word

 

In the Spring of 1988, Bishop William D. Keeler formed a new parish to accommodate the rapid growth in Silver Spring Township and named Reverend James R. O’Brien as the founding pastor. That same year, Mother Katharine Drexel was beatified by Pope John Paul, II. Saint Katharine DrexelAt Bishop Keeler’s request, the Holy Father gave his permission to name the Parish in Silver Spring Township as the first parish in the world to be named in her honor. Eighteen years later, on October 1, 2000, Blessed Katharine Drexel was canonized and the church’s name changed to Saint Katharine Drexel.

The Saint Katharine Drexel Parish Family, guided by the Holy Spirit, commits itself to reaching out and sharing with all people the love and service modeled by our patroness, with the Eucharist as our source of strength. Through prayer and action, we will serve God, our Lord and Savior, and our community, exhibiting a special concern for the poor, oppressed and marginalized of our society, especially those among the African-American & Native-American peoples.

 

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